As you can imagine a part of 3Dmark we haven’t tried any games. 3Dmark 2011 won’t run as the graphics card is not DirectX 11 compatible, but 3Dmark 06 did run. We scored 1513 marks, nothing spectacular and even slower than dirt cheap AMD Brazos notebooks. The SM 2.0 score set to 510, HDR SM 3.0 scored 620 while CPU score is 1017.
AS SSD test of ATADA XM11 showed that SandForce powered drive works really fast. Its seq read score stops at 472.83MB/s but its write score settles at 149.45MB/s. in comparison Alienware MX11 R3 powered with Samsung PM810 256GB drive scores 240.45MB/s read (2 times less than ADATA) but with 200.94MB/s has better writing capabilities.
In Cinebench the UX21 scores 0.84 in CPU test and in OpenGL it scores 3.74 FPS. Alienware MX11 R3 scores 7.75 FPS in GPU test, courtesy of discrete Geforce 540M graphics. Naturally we don’t think that a hefty, 2kg 11.6-incher geared towards gamers is competition for the 1.15kg UX21, but we just wanted to give you something to compare it with. Alienware scores 2.4 pts in the same test.
Frankly, we all laughed when we heard Intel’s price targets for ultrabooks. In theory ultrabooks are simply MacBook Air clones manufactured by Intel partners that are not as experienced with ultrathin and light machines as Apple. Well, the UX21E is quite a good machine. It comes with a 128GB SSD drive, it costs €200 more than the flagship 64GB iPad, but it is still a good 150 euro cheaper than a comparable MacBook Air with the same Core i5, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD.
For Intel and Asus, this is a step in right direction, but we cannot shake the feeling that we would like to get ultrabooks’s for a bit less money. Just remember that a few years ago ultraportables were selling for €2000 or more, so with that in mind, €999 is a good price. Much thicker machines, with HDDs and 2kg or more will cost probably half, but this would be comparing apples and oranges. Bear in mind that Intel’s goal is to cut ultrabook prices and hit a price target of €699 next year.
A machine powered with Windows 7 is still a better choice in terms of productivity than any tablet available to market, and the two-second start makes a big difference. We know the Ivy Bridge second generation of Ultrabooks will get better and Windows 8 will also help, but then again there will always be something better coming.
If you are looking for a very thin and stylish machine that can last a few hours, surf the web, play HD really fast and you want it to be extremely thin and light, we can strongly recommend the Asus UX21E.
Our European readers can grab one at Ditech, our tech shop around the corner which supplied us with the sample.